Harper’s writing style is hypnotic, and if there was ever any doubt as to whether or not she’d be able to carry on the success of her critically-acclaimed debut novel, she silences doubters in a big way with this book ... Force of Nature is beautifully written, and features a hair-raising plot that’ll have readers questioning how well they really know those around them. Harper’s character development continues to be her strength, but her well-rounded skill set is on full display throughout.
Harper is adept at stripping away the thin skin of civility as the characters begin to feel fear out in the wild ... When the truth begins to emerge, Force of Nature gains momentum and rolls out its revelations almost too quickly, leaving us confused about some finer points of the action and the motivations and significance underlying the events. The Dry was an irresistible tinderbox of a book with danger in the air. Force of Nature is satisfying and suspenseful, but it’s a different experience entirely.
Force of Nature moves with methodic ease between present and past, teasing readers with unexplained references ... In homing in on the personal stories of the missing woman and her four female colleagues Harper eases up in other ways on psychological intensity, leaning toward more traditional whodunit strategies. Though she can be whistled for one plot device that seems a bit too convenient, she is such a good storyteller that you don't mind the misstep. The ease with which she shifts points of view and somehow makes disagreeable people sympathetic is special. So is her skill at ratcheting up the suspense. Harper, anything but a flash in the pan, has again raised the bar for emerging crime writers.
Force of Nature is only Harper’s second novel, but it clearly displays her background of more than a decade in journalism ... Harper shows the dexterity of a novelist who can be trusted to lead you to an unforeseen but satisfying conclusion. You won’t regret putting yourself in her hands.
As with Harper’s first book, this one has a powerful sense of place, with a landscape wracked by appalling weather and natural hazards proving a testing ground for her characters. In the sub-genre of inexplicable disappearances in Australia (e.g. Picnic at Hanging Rock), this is a distinguished entry.
Harper’s crackerjack plotting propels the story ... Harper layers her story with hidden depths, expertly mining the distrust between Alice and her four colleagues, and the secrets that simmer under the surface. Lacks some of the scorching momentum of Harper's first book but is nonetheless a spooky, compelling read.